LiuGong’s new battery electric vehicles and remote-control wheel loader

LiuGong has introduced its new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as well as a remote controlled intelligent wheel loader with the 5G technology. The machines were presented this week at the BICES exhibition in Beijing, China, held from 4 to 7 September.

Being a high efficient, low cost, clean and renewable energy, electric energy is believed to replace fossil oils in the future, promoting the rapid development of global electrification. As a result, battery technologies have developed fast in terms of more energy and less cost, laying a solid foundation for the electrification of construction machinery.

The three new LiuGong BEVs include the 906E-EV and 922F-EV excavators as well as the 856HEV wheel loader.

“The total operating cost of a battery powered earthmover is, or soon, will be depending on the exact vehicle design and customer application, lower than that of a diesel-powered machine,” said Edward Wagner, executive director of LiuGong New Technology.

LiuGong’s new BEVs are designed for the new electric economy. They utilise Lithium-ion battery systems for energy storage. This power is directed into permanent magnet electric motors that creates the motion necessary to drive the machines. The mechanical and hydraulic systems of the machines have been optimised for high efficiency; a typical BEV will have a peak power output that is 2x a conventional diesel power machine, said LiuGong, enabling the BEV to accelerate faster and perform more coordinated movements.

The movements will also be more precise given the full electronic vehicle control, added LiuGong. Therefore, the BEV’s productivity can be raised by more than 10% compared to that of a diesel machine.

The first generation of LiuGong BEVs’ batteries are equipped with fast charging technology and energy-saving technologies, which only need one hour to charge the battery 80% to full and can maintain longer working hours.

The new 906E-EV excavator is an example of how quickly and easily a diesel machine can be converted to battery electric, explained LiuGong. The machine utilises most of the diesel excavator’s hydraulic system allowing for a rapid R&D time for conversion. It is fitted with a battery that is large enough for a full working day run time.

The LiuGong 922F-EV excavator is purely driven by electric power. The large battery pack is located centrally at the rear of the machine for optimum mass balance. The electric motor and hydraulic system have been designed to maximise operator visibility.

A feature of the new 856H-EV wheel loader is its pure electric driveline with regeneration, thus improving operating performance and reducing energy consumption. The hydraulic system is electrically driven while using off-the-shelf components. The 300+ kW peak power capability leads to a greater performance. The large battery pack is located at the rear of the machine to replace the conventional counterweight. The overall vehicle layout and packaging has been designed in such a way that enhances operator visibility.

According to LiuGong, its three BEVs feature a high degree of commonality of parts and systems across all of its new energy machines, making things simpler and lowering the total cost of ownership.

In addition, LiuGong launched its new 5G-based remote-control intelligent wheel loader, co-developed and supported by China Telecom and Huawei technology. Cai Dengsheng, deputy chief engineer of LiuGong’s Intelligent Technology Institution said the model can be remotely controlled from over 2,000 km away.

With LiuGong’s intelligent remote-control loader, the operator can manage the machine from somewhere else outside the cab. The job can be done automatically by the intelligent system, while the operator only needs to press a button.

Under the remote-control driving mode, all operations can be observed from the videos that are sent back by the machines’ cameras. It also uses an intelligent protection technology to create automatic identification and auto emergency stop. Thanks to this, the machine not only can be used in normal applications, but also in dangerous and unsafe environments such as rescue and disaster relief, odorous or radiation environments.

LiuGong highlighted that 5G network is currently the most advanced network communication technology in the world, with only 30 millisecond data transition from Beijing to Liuzhou. Meanwhile, the transmission quality or stability are not influenced by either a complex environment or long transition time. At present, it is the best technical solution for timely, efficient and high-quality transmissions of large amounts of data. It provides a high-quality network environment and network technology support for LiuGong’s remote control driving research and offers a strong support for the combination of edge calculation and cloud computing in intelligent control under remote control conditions.

As one of the few Chinese construction machinery companies that has mastered the 5G technology, LiuGong said it is expected to achieve remote-control driving from even longer distances under this platform.